GeoCoin in the Park

During a recent GeoCoin workshop at Furtherfield Gallery in London, we explored a new addition to the GeoCoin body storming. During the initial exploration, the participants were exploring GeoCoin in Finsbury Park and surrounding area to imagine and envisage new ways of interacting with digital currencies in locative scenarios in and around the park.

Discussing this playful, experiential interaction afterwards we were exploring the meaning, value and concerns this experiment raised. The debate touched on technological issues of security and sustainability through to social concerns regarding accessibility and control. The digital layering also challenged perception and behaviour of both digital and physical environments. The discovery of new areas or potential for new social encounters were highlighted as well as locative incentivisation models. Equally, a lack of spatial awareness and disassociation with physical surroundings emerged alongside concerns of digital anxiety and a form of experience gap between the digital interaction and the real world.

In addition to this initial GeoCoin exploration, we added the newly designed ideation cards to further imagine new smart contracts in the city. The ideation cards we developed (based on our previous IFTTT probe) took simplified programming logic of smart contracts and aimed to extend such If…Then… or When…Then… statements creatively into a set of ideation cards to encourage innovative thinking surrounding smart contracts and their meaning for the city (or park) landscape.

Overall, from this If This Then What?  group activity a series of abstract concepts as well as more specific ideas emerged. These concepts and ideas ranged from environmental concerns regarding carbon emission to social interactions and cultural capital. In short, here are some of the concepts that were envisioned:

  • IF artists create an experience in the park THEN cultural capital and personal transformation generate currency to nurture nature and artists.
  • IF a task is accomplished THEN you are granted access to a range of services from the network.
  • IF you use your phone at the dinner table THEN you get less energy when charging your phone.
  • IF you buy a plane ticket THEN the carbon tax is automatically distributed to the countries along the flight path.
  • IF I go to the supermarket with public transport THEN I get rewards deducted off my food bill.

To further explore some of these ideas, in two groups one of the abstract concept and a more concrete idea were then further investigated and articulated in a short video at the end of the workshop. The two concepts which were further developed were CO2ins – a reward system for carbon reduction for grocery shopping – and a distributed Art value system fostering artists’ education, collaboration and culture.